After twelve years of planning and construction, the extension for the Kunsthaus Zürich is now complete. On 11 December 2020, the keys to the new building were handed over to its future user in an online ceremony. The house will open to the public in October 2021.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, the extension building adds a new, freestanding museum building to the Kunsthaus Zürich. The institution now represents the largest art museum in Switzerland.
The new building is located on the northern side of Heimplatz square, opposite the existing building. The clear geometric volume redefines the square structurally on its fourth side. The urban square is situated to the south of the extension and the new Garden of Art to the north as an open and permeable natural environment. An expansive entrance hall creates a link between these two new urban spaces. A visitor passageway running underneath the square connects the new building with the existing Kunsthaus.
All public functions such as the café / bar, events hall, museum shop and museum education services are arranged around the central entrance hall at ground floor level, while the two upper floors are reserved exclusively for the display of art. The diversely dimensioned exhibition spaces are characterised by a calm materiality and an abundance of daylight, placing the immediate experience of art at the centre of the visitor experience.
The architectural identity is modelled on traditional stone façades, as found in the existing Kunsthaus and many other significant public buildings in Zurich. The new building combines tradition and innovation through slender vertical fins crafted from local limestone with sawn surfaces and placed at regular intervals in the façade, embedding the building in its urban and cultural context in a contemporary manner.
David Chipperfield about the project: “The project for the extension of Kunsthaus Zürich brings together the fundamental concerns of museum design with the responsibilities created by both the urban context and the relationship with the existing museum. From the outset, we have sought to invest the museum with the physical qualities that enhance the experience of the museum visitor while considering the civic nature of the building and the institution. We hope that the quality of the architecture, its spatial, formal and material resolution will guarantee that the extension, like Karl Moser’s original building, becomes an integral part of the physical, social and cultural infrastructure of the city of Zurich.
Christoph Felger, partner and design director, David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, says, “Our vision for the new Kunsthaus Zürich was to create an accessible and social place to enjoy art, rather than an exclusive temple for art – ‘a place to go’ for everyone.”
Jan Parth, project architect, says, “The way we have selected and used materials follows the primary idea of exposing the load-bearing structure of the building, making it both visible and tangible. We have only added a few key materials, which dress the exposed concrete rather than cover it up: marble, brass and wood. In the construction phase, we were able to rely on Swiss craftsmanship, which draws on a long tradition and constantly pushes forward new developments.”
After twelve years of planning and construction, the extension for the Kunsthaus Zürich is now complete. On 11 December 2020, the keys to the new building were handed over to its future user in an online ceremony. The house will open to the public in October 2021. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin, the extension building adds a new, freestanding museum building to the Kunsthaus Zürich. The institution now represents the largest art museum in...
- Year 2020
- Work finished in 2020
- Status Completed works
- Type Art Galleries